If the Los Angeles Lakers can beat the Denver Nuggets on Monday evening, they will not have a losing record for the first time in 2013—nearly two months into the calendar year. The last time the Lakers were at .500 was on Dec. 28, 2012.
However, the Lakers have won 11 of the last 15 games, and a win against the Denver Nuggets would be a substantial boost for LA’s playoffs hopes.
The Nuggets are 23-3 at home, and they have already beaten the Lakers in two out of three meetings this season. To make matters worse, the Lakers come into the Mile-High City on the second night of a back-to-back.
However, since the Lakers played early on Sunday (10 a.m. Pacific Time), Monday's game in Denver is about as easy of a back-to-back any team has had all season with regards to recovery time.
Although the Nuggets are not a team to be taken lightly at home, they are not playing their best basketball at the moment. All four losses came on the road, but the Nuggets have still lost four of their last six games entering Monday’s contest.
Also, Kobe Bryant has been on a personal mission to win by any means necessary in the last two games. After dropping 40 points against Portland on Friday, the Black Mamba recorded 38 points, 12 rebounds, and seven assists against the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday.
Bryant’s drive has never been questioned, but the Lakers’ guard found extra motivation after Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban suggested the Lakers should amnesty the Lakers’ future hall-of-famer. Following the game, Bryant responded to Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban via twitter.
Bryant has never been one to shy away from adding fuel to his fire. Hopefully, Bryant also saw the video of Nuggets guard Ty Lawson talking about the Lakers being an easy first round exit the last time these two teams played. Count on Kobe coming out hungry against the Denver.
Added motivation for the Mamba makes for mega Monday matchup.